Would you like to have access to one skincare product that multitasks and supports your skin in countless ways? Who wouldn’t want that? Take a closer look at Niacinamide, and you’ll see that this magic ingredient actually exists. Niacinamide in skincare has numerous benefits for the health and appearance of your skin. What makes this ingredient even more exciting is that it combines well with other skincare ingredients. Plus, it comes in multiple forms. You can choose between dietary supplements or topical serums in different concentrations to find the multitasker that works best for your skin.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is also known as Vitamin B3 or as nicotinamide. It is one of the B complex vitamins, and our body needs it to process fats and sugars. Moreover, Niacinamide is involved in helping our bodies maintain healthy cells, including skin cells. It is one of the best vitamins for skin.
If your body develops a deficiency of this essential nutrient, you may be at risk for diseases of the kidneys, skin, and even the brain. Apart from preventing potentially serious diseases, niacinamide has plenty of benefits when it comes to treating skin conditions. More about that below.
Vitamin B3 can be found naturally in the foods you’re eating. These foods include green veggies, eggs, cereals, beans, meat, and milk. Whilst food is a great source of Niacinamide, you can’t guarantee that the nutrients will go directly to your skin cells. Topical application is the only way to achieve that.
Niacin vs. Niacinamide
Although their names may sound similar, niacinamide in skincare is not the same as niacin. Niacin is another type of vitamin B3. If your body has more Niacin than it needs, this nutrient can be converted into Niacinamide. Whilst Niacin is effective in treating high cholesterol, Niacinamide is not.
Ten Benefits of Niacinamide for Your Skin
1) Stronger Skin
Niacinamide helps build keratin, a type of protein that is part of your skin’s outer layer. Think of it as the waterproof, protective shell of your skin. Together with collagen and elastin, keratin keeps your skin strong and resistant to external influences like pollution and too much sunlight. This protein is what turns your skin barrier effectively into a suit of armor for the rest of your body.
2) Improved Lipid Barrier
Your skin’s lipid barrier is another part of its armor. Generally speaking, this layer is made up of dead skin cells held together by ceramide-rich lipids. Niacinamide can help your skin grow this barrier. The stronger the barrier, the easier it is for your skin to retain water and hydration within its layers.
In addition, your skin’s lipid barrier helps keep out UV radiation, bacteria, dirt, and environmental toxins. This is beneficial for all skin types, regardless of the climate you live in and the outside temperature.
3) Protection Against Sun Damage
No matter how much of a sun worshipper you are, by now, we all know that too much sunlight is detrimental to our skin. Not only can the sun age your skin prematurely, but it can also cause certain skin cancers under the right circumstances.
Niacinamide is a known antioxidant. As such, it not only has the power to support the development of healthy skin cells. This incredible nutrient can also protect those cells from damage caused by ultraviolet rays and visible blue light.
This shouldn’t encourage you to stop using sunscreen. It’s just a bit of extra help for your skin to stay healthy.
4) Help Managing Hyperpigmentation
As we age, our skin becomes more prone to hyperpigmentation showing as darker spots. It loses the even, dewy look most of us love. And whilst it’s perfectly normal to look your age, there is also nothing wrong with being able to turn back the clock a little.
Niacinamide to the rescue! As a skincare ingredient, it helps reduce the transfer of the brown pigment known as melanin from the pigment-producing cells – called melanocytes – to the surrounding epidermal cells which are called keratinocytes. If that sounds a little complicated, let’s focus on the results. If fewer brown pigments transfer out from the cells that produced them, they can cause fewer dark spots. Over time, you will see brown spots become lighter.
5) Balanced Oiliness
Too often, we think of moisturizing as something that is only necessary for dry skin. But moisture retention is just as important for oily skin. Oily skin is caused by your sebaceous glands producing too much sebum, an oily substance made of fats. A little sebum helps protect and moisturize your skin. However, an excess of sebum can lead to clogged pores and predispose you to acne.
Niacinamide in skincare helps restore a healthy balance to your skin by regulating the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce. It also prevents your glands from going into overdrive.
6) Help With Acne Management
Whether you have acne as a teenager or an adult, it is never an easy skin condition to manage.
Niacinamide is helpful for different types of active acne, especially inflammatory acne lesions like papules and pustules. Remember, treating acne takes time, but the results are worth the wait. Over time, you may see fewer acne lesions, less redness, less visible scarring, and improved overall skin texture.
7) Minimized Redness
Let’s be honest no one loves red, blotchy skin. So why put up with it any longer?
Niacinamide has the power to reduce redness and inflammation. As a result, conditions like rosacea and acne as well as other inflammatory skin conditions appear improved. Your skin develops a more even tone and will look healthier.
8) Minimized Pores
Large pores can be unsightly and leave a dent in your confidence. Keeping skin moisturized with Niacinamide has a secondary benefit. This clever nutrient helps balance oil production naturally. Over time, this will allow pores to contract and they will become less visible.
9) Minimized Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are often the first signs of aging you see in the mirror. Most of the time, they are caused by reduced collagen production. Collagen is an important structural fiber of the dermis, but as we age our bodies start producing less of it.
Niacinamide has been shown to boost collagen production. As a result, you see fewer fine lines and wrinkles, and your skin appears thicker. Overall, your skin will not only appear younger, but it will also be healthier.
10) Protection Against Oxidative Stress
Let me go into a little more detail on this issue. Our body produces molecules called free radicals, both as a byproduct of normal metabolism and through exposure to air pollution, pesticides, smoking, and X-rays, among others. Free radicals have an uneven number of electrons and are therefore unstable molecules. They will try and take electrons from other healthy molecules to stabilize themselves, thus turning the other cells into free radicals.
Not all free radicals are bad. Our immune system uses some to help defend the body against unwanted invaders. However, if there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants, our bodies experience oxidative stress.
If your body is in this state of oxidate stress, it will speed up skin aging for example by contributing to the loss of collagen and elastin. The result? Fine wrinkles, texture changes, and possibly discoloration. Plus, this process weakens your skin barrier.
Niacinamide is an antioxidant and helps build healthy cells in the skin. It also helps protect your skin from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.
Have a Little Patience
As powerful as Niacinamide in skincare is, even this multitasker can’t work overnight miracles. In many cases, you may need to have patience for a few weeks to achieve visible results.
This doesn’t mean the product isn’t working for you. Remember your skin is made up of many layers, and even the most powerful skincare ingredients need time to bed in and start working their magic. Most current research suggests up to four weeks for truly visible results, plus another improvement after eight weeks of using a product. However, everyone is different, and it’s not uncommon to see results faster.
Another important consideration is whether to choose Niacinamide supplements or topical creams and serums. We don’t recommend taking any new supplements without consulting your doctor. Topical Niacinamide is conserved safe to use.
However, if you are prone to allergies, it’s worth taking a cautious approach to this and any new skincare product to avoid an unwanted reaction. One of the easiest tests to do is to apply a coin-sized amount on your forearm and wait 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs.
Should you experience symptoms like redness, swelling, or itching, wash the product off thoroughly and stop using it. If there have been no side effects on your forearm, your product should be safe to use elsewhere on your body.
Teaming Up Niacinamide and Other Skincare Powerhouses
Not only is Niacinamide a powerful, multitasking skincare ingredient in its own right, but it also works excellent in combination with other active ingredients.
It is not often that we find products complementing each other so well, which is one more reason for this to be one of the best vitamins in skincare. Here are five of our favorite combinations for healthy, glowing skin.
1) Hyaluronic acid + Niacinamide
Hyaluronic acid can help make your Niacinamide go further. Apart from its own benefits, it helps your skin absorb your Niacinamide serum better. You simply get more use out of the serum.
2) Azelaic Acid + Niacinamide
If you are suffering from unsightly, large pores, give this combination a try. These two ingredients have the power to visibly reduce their appearance, whilst also giving you more radiant, finer-looking skin.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: my favorite all-in-one serum: Aliquote Skin AzaClear Serum
3) Niacinamide + Retinol
Combining the power of vitamin B3 and vitamin A for non-sensitive or resistant aging skin. Retinol is one of the most thoroughly researched, long-standing anti-aging products for your skin. Combine it with the versatility of Niacinamide for stunning results.
4) Niacinamide + Bakuchiol
Have you heard of Bakuchiol? It’s basically vitamin A for sensitive skin. Check out our recent blog post [please link to previous blog] to find out more. If you are dealing with aging skin that is too sensitive for prolonged retinol treatments, this is an excellent alternative. Bakuchiol is plant-based and gives you the benefits of retinol without skin irritation.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS: my favorite layered serums combo for sensitive skin: Aliquote Skin AzaClear Serum + Aliquote Skin BioRetinol Serum
5) Niacinamide for Your Lips
Our lips are one of the first places for signs of aging to occur. Helping the skin of your lips appear healthier and plumper will give you an instant boost, no matter your age. Because Niacinamide boosts your body’s natural collagen production, it helps your lips instantly appear plumper.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: my favorite secret for plump lips: Aliquote Skin No-Injection Lip Plump
Vitamins are powerful nutrients that support our health inside and out. Niacinamide, aka vitamin B3, has been shown to support a wide range of skin conditions either by helping heal conditions like rosacea or acne or prevent them in the first place.
Whilst more research would be beneficial in further proving the effectiveness of this active ingredient, I believe the results we are seeing simply speak for themselves.
Those results include younger-looking skin and improved appearance of inflammatory conditions. What’s more, Niacinamide is easy to combine with other active ingredients. Not only does this make it easy to integrate it into your skincare regime. But it also means that you can start combining active ingredients to achieve even better results and benefit from healthier-looking skin!